For Kiwis looking to escape the winter blues, the warm tropics have just become a lot more accessible.
On Friday, Emirates started its daily service from Auckland to Dubai, with a stopover in Bali.
Emirates say the new service is a recommitment to New Zealand after axing its trans-Tasman services.
The inaugural flight touched down in Auckland on Friday morning, 20 minutes earlier than expected. The NZ Ambassador to Indonesia Dr Trevor Matheson was among passengers on the flight.
Emirates is the only airline to offer daily, year-round services from Auckland to Bali. The airline told Newshub Travel the new route offers "more choice" for New Zealand travellers.
The flight is in addition to the airline's daily A380 service direct to Dubai from Auckland.
The route is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, offering eight seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business and 304 seats in Economy Class.
Emirates chief commercial officer Thierry Antinori told Newshub Travel that the airline is preparing for growth in the region.
"It's about the existing market and stimulating. It's like chicken and egg. You can wait, or you can act. We think that if we put Bali on the map, every day, 365 days a year, the trade, the consumer, the stakeholder will have another focus."
"The hotels in Bali will have another focus," Mr Antinori said. "It's about stimulating the market by offering the best airlift and a good airlift."
More than 40,000 Kiwis choose Bali as their holiday destination of choice each year.
The new route will also support the increased demand from trade between Indonesia and New Zealand, and will enable up to 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on the aircraft per flight. It is estimated that the total two-way trade between New Zealand and Indonesia exceeds NZ$1.5 billion.
The flight will provide ease of access to Indonesian exporters and importers as well as exports from New Zealand including cut flowers, fresh produce and chilled foods including fish.
The flight leaves Auckland as flight EK 451 at the convenient time of 12:50pm, arriving in Denpasar at 5:55pm local time. It will depart Denpasar at 7:50pm, arriving in Dubai just after midnight.
The Auckland-bound service, EK 450, will depart Dubai at 7:05am, arriving in Bali at 8:20pm local time, before flying on to New Zealand at 10pm, arriving in Auckland at 10am the following day.
Over the next week Newshub Travel will be showcasing things to do in Dubai and Bali.
Brin Rudkin travelled courtesy of Emirates for Newshub Travel.